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Thread: New York Public Libraries

  1. #16
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
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    Oct 2002


    The ornamentation on the library is nice.

    Controversial plan to sell library building to private developer who will build apartment tower over it

    By Lore Croghan

    Joe Marino/New York Daily News

    It’s the incredible shrinking library in Brooklyn Heights, angry patrons charge.

    Residents are up in arms over a controversial plan to sell the city-owned Brooklyn Heights Library building to a private developer who will erect an apartment tower with a new, 15,000 square foot branch - smaller than the book hall that’s there now.

    “It’s sad and tragic there will be less space for the library,” said Brooklyn Heights psychotherapist Carolyn McIntyre who launched a petition opposing the plan for the Cadman Plaza West building that drew nearly 900 signatures in a week.

    The new, single-floor library in the residential high-rise is meant to replace a 13,000-square-foot branch on the second floor of the existing building near the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge - prime real estate likely to be coveted by many builders.

    The14,000 square foot Business and Career Library on the current building’s first floor will be moved to the Central Library at Grand Army Plaza.

    But many patrons use the business library like it’s part of their neighborhood branch — and are upset the space will be eliminated.

    Joe Marino/New York Daily News

    “It’s insulting for them to shrink this library,” said schoolteacher and Brooklyn Heights resident Judy Gorman. “All of us — people of all ages and races and ethnic groups — use both floors of the library as our branch.”

    Patrons include downtown Brooklyn office workers and public housing residents.

    During two recent visits, a Daily News reporter found patrons do tend to use the business library as part of the branch.

    Just two of the business library’s 20 computers were being used for business-related work. At other desktops, patrons watched a Bob Marley music video; read a story about pop singer Pink; answered emails; and checked out an online dating site.

    “If they make the library just one floor it will be so crowded,” said Patrick Desince, a City Tech freshman who uses a first floor computer to do homework. “It’s unfair.”

    A News reporter also found that in a room housing the business library’s book collection only three patrons were doing business research. Others read newspapers or a paperback novel; one watched a movie on a laptop.

    Some business services that patrons do access are similar to what’s offered in regular branches such as a job-hunters’ help program that’s available at 14 other locations.

    “With the usage of the library I see, I have a hard time believing a single floor is enough for a new library,” said Lincoln Restler of the New Kings Democrats.

    BPL spokeswoman Emma Woods defended the shrunken library planned for Brooklyn Heights as a “state-of-the-art” facility that will have “the modern technology, updated book collection and flexible programming space that our patrons want and deserve.”

    The building — whose sale requires City Council approval — needs more than $9 million for building repairs, including $3.5 million to replace the air conditioning. The library was closed for at least 30 days last summer because of the malfunctioning AC.

    “The situation last year with the air conditioning should not be used as a pretext to get rid of the building and replace it with a smaller library,” said City Councilman Steve Levin (D-Brooklyn Heights).

    Library officials will set up a group of elected officials, community organization reps and community board members to advise them on the library rebuild, Woods said.

  2. #17


    I always like those reliefs on this little dignified building's facade. Oh well, this is a spectacular site for a tower. Future residents will have incomparable views of Downtown and probably this view of Midtown.:


  3. #18


    And the library's replacement building will likely enjoy a view towards Downtown similar to this.

    Vivienne Gucwa

  4. #19
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    Shh! This Is a Library. And the Sentries Are Sleeping.


    Chang W. Lee/The New York Times
    They are not quite as regal as Patience and Fortitude, the famous lions on
    guard outside the main public library branch on Fifth Avenue. But these two
    lazy beasts have still been warmly welcomed at the library branch in Riverdale,
    the Bronx, where they arrived earlier this year.

    There was no grand entrance at this library, no sweeping staircase to preside over, and certainly no tourists to pose with for photos.
    Maybe that’s why this pair of stone lions was sleeping on the job.

    The Bronx cousins to that grand pair on Fifth Avenue, Patience and Fortitude, could use a few pointers in looking lionly.

    The lions, each weighing about 900 pounds, sprawled lazily on stone pedestals in the late afternoon sun on Wednesday, their eyelids closed to the busy stream of children and stroller-pushing mothers passing between them every few minutes to go in and out of the New York Public Library branch in Riverdale.

    “Why are they sleeping?” demanded Robert Ernau, 41, a subway cleaner, as he stopped to look at their faces. “Someone has to wake them up.”

    Chang W. Lee/The New York Times
    The sleeping lions need names.

    The lions have been the subject of a monthlong naming contest among library patrons. More than 200 entries have been received, including Rest and Peace, Honor and Justice and, in a nod to Disney’s ever popular Lion King, Simba and Scar. The contest, which ends on Friday, will culminate in a naming ceremony on April 12.

    The Bronx lions were relocated to the Riverdale library in January after their home of many years, the Loews Regency Hotel on Park Avenue, began undergoing an extensive renovation designed to “epitomize Manhattan sophistication.” The hotel decided that the lions, a fixture at the front of the hotel, were better suited elsewhere, and donated them to the public library. (James S. Tisch, chief executive officer of Loews, is also a member of the board of the New York Public Library.)

    Library officials said that the Riverdale branch, which circulates about 12,000 books and DVDs a month, had ample space for the lions. “It’s a very popular branch,” said Amy Geduldig, a spokeswoman for the library. “It does a lot of good in the community and we thought our patrons there would appreciate it.”

    As for the history of the lions, that remains a mystery even to their previous owner, with no record of who carved them or why. Still, Lark-Marie Anton, a spokeswoman for the Loews hotel, noted that “they were fond members of the family and we’re ecstatic that we’ll be able to visit them in their new home.”

    The lions have company at the Riverdale library, joining two (live) goldfish inside who have been named Goldi and Locks by children.

    Though the Bronx lions are much smaller than the lions that have stood sentry outside the main library branch on Fifth Avenue for over a century, and are rough-hewn stone instead of polished Tennessee marble, they have been welcomed with open arms. Indira Urbano, 10, said she hugged first one lion and then the other when it appeared two days later. “When I walk in, I always look at them,” she said.

    Jesse Scaturro/Loews Hotels
    The lions formerly guarded the Loews Regency Hotel on Park Avenue.
    Jonathan Tisch, the Loews chairman, posed with a lion and a symbolic
    sledgehammer shortly before the lions’ removal as part of an ongoing renovation.

    Jackson Spence, 9, said he came up with the name Honor to go with his 5-year-old sister’s suggestion of Justice for the lions. Their mother, who grew up on the Upper West Side, has told them about visiting what she called the Lions’ Library, referring to the Fifth Avenue branch. “It used to be plain here,” Jackson said. “This kind of brings it to life a little more.”

    Jackson’s mother, Anna Spence, added that naming the lions would weave them into the fabric of the neighborhood. “It personalizes the library more,” she said. “We’re sort of a small town in Riverdale and the library is our hub.”

    But still there were the inevitable comparisons.

    Gabriel Hallinan, 19, a student at Hunter College, said he did not notice the lions at first because they were rather unimpressive. “You always wish if you had lions at your library, they would be more upright,” he said. “They looked not so much virtuous as sleepy.”

    But Aaron Hasson, a teacher, said it was a nice touch that the lions had not gone to waste even if they were not exactly up to guarding the Riverdale library.

    “Sometimes, you get tired and just want to relax and have a little catnap,” Mr. Hasson, 69, said. “I know where they’re coming from.”

  5. #20
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    Staten Island’s Mariners Harbor getting its own oyster-shaped New York Public Library branch in nod to nautical history

    The 10,000 square-foot space opens to the public on Dec. 16, gives the neighborhood a crucial space to learn and explore. 'It's been long-needed,' library manager Elizabete Pata tells The News.

    By Beth Stebner

    The newest branch of the New York Public Library is opening in Mariners Harbor on Staten Island,
    offering a host of community events and resources for the neighborhood.

    The newest library on Staten Island will offer its visitors unlimited pearls of wisdom.

    And for good reason: The 88th branch of the New York Public Library — opening in Staten Island’s Mariners Harbor next week — was designed to look like an oyster in a nod to the neighborhood’s seafaring past.

    The 10,000 square-foot space, which was decades in the making and opens to the public on Dec. 16, gives the neighborhood a crucial space to learn and explore.

    “It’s been long-needed,” said Mariners Harbor library manager Elizabete Pata, who admits she sometimes struggles to contain her enthusiasm.

    Pata says the new branch — which cost $12.5 million to build — is sure to shatter long-held stereotypes about libraries.

    “They aren’t what they used to be,” Pata said. “We're not brick and mortar buildings anymore.”

    That notion is reflected in the chrome-and-glass structure, as well as the high-tech services the new branch will offer.

    Courtesy of Atelier Pagnamenta Torriani
    The building was designed by Atelier Pagnamenta Torriani to resemble an oyster, a nod to the area’s nautical past.

    Mariners Harbor will have 38 desktop computers — including Macs — and several laptops, as well as extensive online databases for research.

    Staten Island’s 13th library branch is bringing on six full-time and two part-time workers, to administer a host of planned community events and workshops, including programs to offer career training and help patrons write résumés.

    “We’re giving the community what they need, from tutoring to book clubs,” Pata said. “It gives them an edge.”

    New York Public Library president Tony Marx, who will attend Monday’s ribbon cutting, said that the library was “designed to support and cultivate the education of all students of Mariners Harbor, young and old.”

    Members of the world-famous Public School 22 Chorus will be on hand to help ring in their new hometown library.

    “This library will be a great benefit to the entire community, but especially to its children,” Staten Island Borough President James P. Molinaro said. “I’ve often said that when children learn to read, they can read to learn.”

  6. #21
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    Just How Bad Are Things in New York City's Public Libraries?

    March 20, 2015, by Jeremiah Budin

    Clinton Hill branch, photo by Edward Blake

    Another of those reports has come out that catalogues just how desperate the situation is at New York City's public libraries, and—guess what—it is still very desperate. Some of the more notably in-dire-straits branches include Ulmer Park Library in Brooklyn, where the roof leaks so much that employees have cover the books with ripped up garbage bags when it rains, Melrose Library in the Bronx, which is completely inaccessible to people in wheelchairs, Port Richmond Library in Staten Island, where the pipes frequently burst, and Brownsville Library in Brooklyn, which has no air conditioning and is forced to close on hot days. The libraries say, as they have said in the past, that they need $1.1 billion in capital repairs; in Mayor de Blasio's preliminary capital plan, which was released last month, they are allotted $62.3 million, a $10 million decrease from last year.

    Several of New York City's libraries are badly in need of repairs, report says [NYDN]
    Report: Crumbling NYC libraries need massive investment [Brooklyn Eagle]

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